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Pectin innovation for acidified dairy drinks
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Pectin innovation for acidified dairy drinks

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As consumers in Asia become more affluent and discerning, they are demanding both higher quality and greater novelty in their food and beverages, particularly within the popular category of acidified dairy drinks. Trends come and go, but what Asian consumers want from these beverages remain unchanged – namely refreshing sensations and great-tasting flavors. In response, the pace of innovation among food manufacturers has increased, with speed to market being paramount.

As a gelling agent, thickening agent and stabilizer in food applications, pectin is a widely used ingredient in acidified dairy drinks.

Better functioning pectins can provide improved protein stabilization power, hence enabling a lighter, more refreshing mouthfeel in acidified dairy drinks. For example, in an orange-flavored acidified dairy drink, a sample which used a better functioning pectin was graded fresher and juicier.

As pectin functionality varies with the freshness of the fruit peels used in the manufacturing process, proximity to a citrus-growing region is needed for convenient access to fresh peels, thereby enabling the production of better functioning pectins with enhanced protein stabilization power and beneficial sensory characteristics.

Combining the capabilities of flavor expression, refreshing mouthfeel and protein stabilization, better functioning pectins are valuable ingredients to help food manufacturers create sensory differentiation in their acidified dairy beverage products.


Delivering quality, cost-competitive pectin products

Drawing on its global expertise in pectin innovation, Cargill has unveiled its new Unipectine AYD R series for acidified dairy drinks, which took a year to develop and is specially designed to deliver on key sensory purchase drivers with no compromise on product stabilization.

"To fulfill the desired sensory experience of Asian consumers, our scientists successfully developed several processing techniques to improve pectin stabilization potency and increase pectin purity,” said Gaetan Heynderickx, Enterprise Customer Technical Lead. “As the building blocks of our new pectin offerings for acidified dairy drinks, our Unipectine AYD R series has also undergone rigorous in-house testing to validate their high-performing sensory and functional performance.”

Since entering into the pectin market in 2005, Cargill has continuously built on its pectin expertise by supporting customers in creating consumer-winning products using pectin at its many innovation labs around the world. A showcase of the new Unipectine AYD R series in acidified dairy drink concepts has been developed by Cargill’s innovation center in Singapore to inspire customers in their product development.

As the food and beverage industry continues to evolve, Cargill is committed to continuous innovation. In 2019, the company announced a US$150 million investment to build the world’s most modern pectin operation in the heart of a key citrus-growing region in Bebedouro, Brazil. The facility is on track to open by end 2021.

To better support its customers in Asia, Cargill is also investing in local pectin blending capabilities that allow for more sourcing flexibility and ability to customize blends, which ultimately increases its speed of response to customer needs.

Eagerly looking forward to Cargill’s latest pectin developments is one of its long-term partners, Unitec, a leading Japanese supplier of food ingredients.

“Unitec began working with Cargill in 1972 where we were among the first to import pectin into Japan,” said CEO Shinichi Sekita. “Now with the new Unipectine AYD R series and upcoming Brazil plant, we are excited to build on our long and rewarding partnership with Cargill to introduce even more quality pectin ingredients to create products that will delight both customers and consumers alike.”

Visit to learn more Cargill’s pectin offerings and get in touch with the company’s local sales representatives.

Note:The pectin performance information referenced in the article is based on internal sensory data and technical analysis

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